Parallel universes; a brilliant scientific concept and one that could easily be translated into a wonderful idea for a film. I’ve never seen a film tackle this concept in a clever way, and after seeing Jet Li in The One, I still haven’t. What I have instead witnessed is one of the most moronic films of all time. The Room made more sense, that’s how bad this is.
The film starts by explaining that there is not just one universe, but many. While I foolishly assumed this meant an infinite set of parallel universes in which all possibilities can occur, it turns out that in this film there are actually only 124 universes, making up a ‘giant’ multiverse. OK, then.
It gets worse: it turns out that if one of you dies, the other 123 each get a fraction of your ‘life energy’, as Jason Statham explains. Jason Statham explaining sci-fi is bad enough already, but when he explains a concept that is as utterly preposterous as this, it’s too much to take. It turns out one Jet Li is trying to kill all the other Jet Lis so he can become God. Or something like that. I’ve seen toddlers write better science fiction.
Of course there’s a Jet Li in our universe too – we know it’s our universe because Bush is the president, instead of Al Gore, as proposed in Universe 123 – and by the time bad Jet Li gets here, both Jet Lis have the power of 62 Jet Lis each… I think. It turns out that this power can be translated into directly ripping off The Matrix in terms of dodging bullets and doing kung fu, of course with nowhere near as much success.
Interestingly, Hank from Breaking Bad and Tom Scavo from Desperate Housewives appear in this film; both men are far better actors than Li or Statham, yet both only play cameo police roles. Probably for their own good; the less attachment to this fetid turd of a movie, the better. The idea that this film may have indeed have been written by a teenager is strengthened by the ridiculous indie-metal soundtrack this film has. Artists such as Linkin Park, Papa Roach and Disturbed only hinder the film’s credibility.
The only thing left for scrutiny is the action and the special effects, which seem like the only things worth seeing in a film like this. Nevertheless, even this is hammed up, as Jet Li’s martial arts fighting – which is rather forgettable anyway – is drowned in a sea of dodgy CGI and visual effects. The final scene where he fights himself is peculiar, because I neither know nor care who the good Jet Li is.
For such a clever scientific idea, this has to be one of the most brainless films I’ve ever seen. Clumsy in its approach and execution, Jet Li’s jumping and kicking simply fails to impress. Alongside Half Nelson, this is one of the worst films I’ve ever seen.